Nancy Lyons has been with Feeding Westchester for the past 25 years, currently serving as its director of volunteer services. The organization in New York state is part of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks serving every state in the United States. The past year has seen a change in volunteer opportunities, as well as a greater awareness of the issues of hunger, the faces of hunger and what hunger represents in our society.
In this edition of Voices In Food, Lyons talks about how Feeding Westchester has been rising to the challenges of the increase in distribution and fewer on-site volunteers, how societal upheaval has impacted its mission, and the journey that she says she’s taking every day.
Overall, there has been a slow shift in how hunger is addressed. The programs created to alleviate hunger used to be totally grassroots — somebody would notice people rummaging through garbage cans and bring them food, or a person would reach out to members of their faith to raise money for a family. The need grew and the tools became more sophisticated.